From 1st April 2013, the criteria regarding access to Legal Aid for family law cases changed. From this date, help paying for legal fees became restricted to only a limited number of situations.
Legal Aid may be available to you in each of the following cases:
- Social Services have become involved with your family; or
- You wish to apply for an injunction against an abusive partner; or
- You want advice on divorce / separation or related children / financial issues and you are the victim of domestic abuse; or
- There is the need to protect a child from abuse or removal from the UK; or
- You are attending Family Mediation.
Qualifying for Legal Aid
In all of the above circumstances, the financial criteria for Legal Aid must also be met. To qualify, you must be on income support (certain other benefits also qualify), or receive gross pay of less than £2,657.00 a month (before tax and NI deductions) and have capital or savings of less than £8,000.
In cases of domestic abuse or child abuse (points 3 and 4 above), appropriate evidence must also be obtained before Legal aid can be granted. Details of the evidence required can be found at the following links Legal Aid for domestic abuse victims, Legal Aid for children at risk of abuse.
If any of the above situations are applicable to you, our team of family law solicitors will be able to assess whether you are eligible for Legal Aid. Funding can be granted to help you negotiate a divorce, separation, financial settlement or child custody / access agreement.
It is important to remember that with all types of Legal Aid for family law, if you win a financial settlement, you may have to pay some or all of your costs from your settlement. Our experienced family law solicitors will advise you of any conditions of accepting Legal Aid.